Help Crestwood Park remove invasive honeysuckle and celebrate MDC’s Back to Nature Grant Sept. 24

News from the region
Saint Louis
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CRESTWOOD, Mo.—Crestwood Park is going natural, and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and its Back to Nature partners are inviting volunteers to help it get there.

MDC has awarded a Back to Nature Grant to the City of Crestwood for Crestwood Park.  The grant provides funding for native habitat restoration and reconstruction on a public park property in St. Louis County or City through a competitive application process.

As part of the process of bringing Crestwood Park back to nature, MDC and its Back to Nature partners are holding a Back to Nature Honeysuckle Hack Saturday, Sept. 24 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.  This event will give volunteers a chance to help eradicate this invasive shrub that crowds out natives and diminishes wildlife habitat.  The Missouri Botanical Garden has identified bush honeysuckle as one of the most destructive invasive species in the region.

Immediately after, the park will host a Post-Hack Outreach Celebration from noon-2 p.m.  Participants will enjoy nature-themed activities for the whole family as they learn about other efforts to restore native habitat in the park.  The free event is open to all ages and will also feature a nature scavenger hunt and a follow-your-own adventure game—including prizes.

Pre-registration online is encouraged for participation in the Honeysuckle Hack at  Check-in begins at 8:45 a.m. Volunteers will use loppers and hacksaws to remove the honeysuckle, then treat the plants with herbicide to inhibit regrowth (must be 18 or older to handle herbicides).  Wearing long sleeves and pants is recommended; those 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.  All equipment will be provided.

MDC’s Back to Nature Grant opportunity is offered every three years and selected recipients can obtain up to $75,000, distributed over a three-year period.  As part of the agreement, recipients are also expected to invest funds and resources into the project on a 75/25 basis.   Applicants can meet the 25% match requirement through direct funding or in-kind contributions to the project.

Specific projects slated over the course of the three-year Crestwood Park Back to Nature Grant include invasive plant removal, stream restoration, woodland enhancement, creating a prairie, and installing gardens for pollinators.

Crestwood Park is located at the end of Meadowfern Drive in Crestwood.

Cooperating partners in the Crestwood Back to Nature Grant include MDC, the Open Space Council, City of Crestwood, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, and the Crestwood Beautification Committee.  To learn more about MDC’s Back to Nature Grant and other community conservation funding opportunities, go to